Technology: China now requires mandatory facial scans for cell phones users - - PressFrom - US
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Technology China now requires mandatory facial scans for cell phones users

22:50  02 december  2019
22:50  02 december  2019 Source:   abcnews.go.com

China propaganda app fraught with security concerns: report

  China propaganda app fraught with security concerns: report A widely downloaded Chinese propaganda app that quizzes users on Communist Party heroes and military achievements may be "studying them right back" through data collection and potential security breaches, an internet freedom campaign group says. But the Open Technology Fund (OTF) -- a US government-funded group that campaigns for internet freedom -- says users also provide a plethora of data to the app, including location and emails. OTF contracted the independent German tech firm Cure53 to study the app.

China's requirement that all new mobile phone users submit a facial scan went into effect, as international critics wary of the new tech called the move a "wake up call to people everywhere."

a person holding a sign: A person shows the facial recognition shown through the app at the Fuchengmen subway station in Beijing, China, Nov. 28, 2019.© Imaginechina via AP A person shows the facial recognition shown through the app at the Fuchengmen subway station in Beijing, China, Nov. 28, 2019.

The new regulations were announced by China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology as a way to protect citizens' interests and rights in cyberspace, as well as to protect against fraud, in a statement. The new facial scan requirement took effect on Sunday.

Critics of facial recognition technology, especially when implemented by government agencies, argue it is an invasive form of surveillance, and say the controversial tech is creeping its way into law enforcement uses in the U.S. as well.

China introduces mandatory face scans for phone users

  China introduces mandatory face scans for phone users China will require telecom operators to collect face scans when registering new phone users at offline outlets starting Sunday, according to the country's information technology authority, as Beijing continues to tighten cyberspace controls. In September, China's industry and information technology ministry issued a notice on "safeguarding the legitimate rights and interests of citizens online", which laid out rules for enforcing real-name registration.

a person holding a sign: A person shows the facial recognition shown through the app at the Fuchengmen subway station in Beijing, China, Nov. 28, 2019.© Imaginechina via AP A person shows the facial recognition shown through the app at the Fuchengmen subway station in Beijing, China, Nov. 28, 2019.

"Facial recognition is a uniquely dangerous form of surveillance. It enables governments to engage in invasive and ubiquitous monitoring of an entire population," Evan Greer, the deputy director of Fight for the Future, a nonprofit digital rights advocacy group, told ABC News.

(MORE: Calif. moves to block police from using facial recognition in body cams)

"There's no evidence that this type of technology improves public safety, but it's ideal for authoritarian control," Greer said.

China introduces mandatory face scans for phone users

  China introduces mandatory face scans for phone users China will require telecom operators to collect face scans when registering new phone users at offline outlets starting Sunday, according to the country's information technology authority, as Beijing continues to tighten cyberspace controls. In September, China's industry and information technology ministry issued a notice on "safeguarding the legitimate rights and interests of citizens online", which laid out rules for enforcing real-name registration. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

Greer said that while it is "tempting" and can be convenient for Westerners to "point fingers at China" for their use of biometric surveillance technology, "the reality is that face surveillance programs are spreading quickly in the US and Europe as well."

A Washington Post investigation in July said that the U.S.’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials used facial recognition technology to go through state driver’s license databases.

Also in July, a UK-based report found that 80% of facial recognition suspects flagged by London’s Metropolitan Police were innocent.

Greer and Fight for the Future are advocating for an outright ban on facial recognition technology for surveillance purposes.

"China's implementation of this technology should be a wake-up call to people everywhere who care about basic human liberty," she said.

(MORE: Facial-recognition software may be able to identify people based on brain scans)

In October, California passed a bill making it the largest state in the nation to ban facial recognition software in police body cameras.

China introduces mandatory face scans for phone users

  China introduces mandatory face scans for phone users China will require telecom operators to collect face scans when registering new phone users at offline outlets starting Sunday.In September, China's industry and information technology ministry issued a notice on "safeguarding the legitimate rights and interests of citizens online", which laid out rules for enforcing real-name registration.

“Face-scanning police body cameras have no place on our streets, where they can be used for dragnet surveillance of Californians, our locations, and our personal associations,” Matt Cagle, the technology and civil liberties attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California said in a statement when the bill was signed by the governor.

Cagle argued that the bill "helps ensure Californians don’t become test subjects for an invasive and dangerous tracking technology that undermines our most fundamental civil liberties and human rights.”

The city of San Francisco took it a step further in May, becoming the first U.S. city to block the use of facial recognition tech by all police and city agencies.

A new Chinese police app allows peer-to-peer facial scans .
A new police app is inviting individual users to get in on China's mania for using facial recognition.The police bureau in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou, near Hong Kong, rolled out an app named Zhen Ni (The Real You), last week (Nov. 27). The program is embedded in China’s digital ID system, a program from the Ministry of Public Security that works on the messaging platform WeChat, and allows enables users to upload details from their national identity cards to use their phones as virtual IDs in order to book hotels or purchase train tickets.

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